The Libertarian Party was founded 45 years ago in 1971 as an alternative to the two major parties in the United States. Since that time the party has seen growth in membership and elected officials, and particularly following the 2016 election the party saw its best performance in history at all levels.
As the largest political party behind the Democrats and Republicans, the Libertarians have taken on a new mission in order to preserve their heritage and principles as a party.
The following motion was passed by the Libertarian National Committee in late 2016:
The LNC establishes a Historic Preservation Committee to help preserve and publish historical documents of the party and to manage LPedia. This committee is granted a budget of $5,000. Caryn Ann Harlos is appointed chair with authority to appoint up to 4 others. This committee will expire at the end of the LNC meeting preceding the 2018 LP National Convention.
Since then exhaustive measures have been taken to get the new LPedia site up and running and the beginning stages of preservation have begun. In the basement of LP headquarters, there are many documents that are currently being scanned and digitized the highlight the strong history of the party.
Caryn Ann Harlos, an LP activist, is the point person on this effort to preserve the party’s history. When asked why this project is necessary Mrs. Harlos responded “It isn’t just preservation of history for its own sake, though that is important. And that is important because we are gaining so much ground with wonderful new enthusiastic Libertarians but they don’t know where we came from and how these ideas have a rich and principled history.”
The LP’s historical preservation project is also a way to help their state affiliates out in the future. According to Harlos, “It is a resource… why should state affiliates have to keep reinventing the wheel and redoing research that has already been done?
As a key objective of the project “I hope to educate new people, re-inspire seasoned people, and provide resources and materials for all” according to Caryn Ann.
The LPedia has officially re-opened for new account creation and invitations are extended to make good use of this resource and to create an account to help maintain and document the history of the Libertarian Party.
This project is in the early stages and can use support from members of the party. According to the Independent Political Report: To keep track of the work of the Historical Preservation Committee by subscribing to their read-only committee discussion, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with “subscribe” in the subject line. Donations are sought to assist in funding the scanning and digitization work and can be made here: https://secure.piryx.com/donate/uO2ehmy0/libertarian/historicalpreservation
Committee Chair Caryn Ann Harlos can be reached at Caryn.Ann.Harlos@LP.org